Something I often hear is “my home could never look like that I have kids”, and as an Interior Designer and Stay at Home Mom I fully understand your struggle. You want your home to look like the beautiful homes you see in magazines and on your Instagram feed, but instead your home looks more like a daycare with smudged walls and stains everywhere? I think a common misconception is that just because you have kids you have to give up your home style and wait until they get older before you can create a home you love. What I have learned is that it is all about perspective. As an Interior Designer and stay at home mom I am all about creating beautiful spaces that make you fall in love with being home. As a fellow mom of toddlers, I want to encourage you that your house does not need to be perfect to feel like home. Here are a few tips that I can share with you for creating a space that is beautiful as well as practical when it comes to having kids in the house. I fully believe the space you are in can really dictates every-thing from your attitude to your mood and it really can have a powerful impact on your life, so don’t wait!
Tip 1. Control the Clutter don’t eliminate it.
- As we have learned less is more when it comes to toys even developmentally, but obviously on your home as well. It is not about eliminating all toys it is about designing your home in a way that helps control the chaos. Examples of this in my home are lots of beautiful baskets and bins that look orderly on the outside but where plenty of toys can be concealed. Inside every beautiful woven basket and underneath every knitted throw blanket you can bet there is going to be a mess of toys inside. I also love built in storage cabinets and bookshelves for this same reason. It creates a continuous clean look, and you can hide all those plastic toys inside. They can get thrown in at cleanup time and taken out at playtime.
Tip 2. Make practical purchases and be prepared.
- A great tip is to buy stuff that they can’t destroy and that can’t destroy them. It is all about making smart choices. Opt for a beautiful indoor/outdoor rug for your dining area that will clean up easily or for one with a lot of patterns that can disguise them. A common misconception is to purchase cheap furniture because it will get ruined anyway, but the problem with that is it has no chance of holding up. The goal here is balance, although holding off on very expensive or fragile items is probably best, you also want quality items that won’t be destroyed easily. It is a balance between some inexpensive items and quality items that can take a beating.
- Prepare for spills! Invest in a good handheld carpet shampooer that way when the kids inevitably spill it won’t be the end of the world. Also, I recommend washable covers such as removable pillow covers, and dining chair and sofa slipcovers are a great option. They are beautiful but can easily be removed and washed. This is how I can get away with so much white in my home because most of it can be removed and washed regularly.
Tip 3. Embrace this season and accept that your kids live here too.
- Embrace the imperfections and the dings and make it a part of your homes story. One day you will remember those marks and it will spark special memories.
- Involving your kids on creating your home is also important. When they take ownership of the space, they are less likely to destroy it. Also creating different areas in your home helps. Areas that encourage play and are designated for toys, and other areas that are more peaceful and put together for when you need to relax and escape the chaos.
- The goal is not to create a home that looks as though no kids live there it is to embrace this season and create memories of home for them. Display the art, family photos, and let them make some decisions.
- Make your home, work for you. If a space like a formal dining room isn’t really practical for your family, then convert it into a space that works for you such as a playroom or homeschool room. Your home can change and serve you in the seasons that you are in, don’t let your house decide how you use it.
- This is said with so much grace but stop using your kids as your excuse for not having a space you love. Stop spending time scrolling through beautiful Instagram feeds or flipping through magazines and start doing. Stop wasting your days waiting for the day when you will finally have your dream home and just start creating it! Accept that your home will not look perfect all the time and find the beauty and grace in everyday living.
Having a home that brings you joy is so much more than how it looks; your environment controls you and can affect everything in your life. I hope these tips help you create a home that you are proud to call yours. Always remember it is more important to have a home that brings you peace than one that is perfect.